Is Tripp Victim of a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy?

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How ironic would it be if Linda Tripp goes to jail amid speculation of an unseen conspiracy? We may find out if she has more days like Thursday, when Monica Lewinsky took the stand in a Maryland hearing for Tripp's upcoming trial on charges of illegally recording (and then playing for Newsweek) conversations with the world's most famous ex-intern.

Tripp's lawyers argue that the wiretaps are inadmissible since they became public only after she had an immunity deal with Ken Starr. But Maryland prosecutors made a strong case for admissibility Thursday on the strength of Monica's testimony. Lewinsky said a conversation, reprinted in Newsweek, took place December 22, 1997 — before Tripp reached an immunity deal with Starr, and afterTripp's lawyer had told her that such taping was illegal. Any recording after the deal was reached will probably be deemed inadmissible. But Lewinsky maintains she remembers specifically that it occurred before then because "it was a pretty frightening time for me, so I remember it."

So now the question is, which is it? Is Monica the pawn of a vast right-wing conspiracy, as Hillary so famously charged, or is she part of a vast left-wing effort to discredit Linda Tripp? Both? Neither? Who knows. The only certain thing is that the fallout from her time with the commander in chief will continue well into the next millennium.